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Common pre-divorce mistakes to avoid

People in Texas and elsewhere file for divorce when they are feeling angry or bitter. It is easy to make mistakes when one is in an emotional state and to thus overlook important steps that should be taken before heading to court. These hasty decisions can have significant financial consequences after the divorce is finalized.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is telling their spouse they want a divorce before preparing for life after the marriage is over. In order to avoid this, people are advised to take a personal financial inventory. It may be helpful to set up a separate checking account and look into post-divorce employment options. It is also not advisable for the spouse who expects to be ordered to pay alimony and/or child support to make any employment changes like quitting a job or reducing hours in the hope of having to pay less. This will likely be frowned upon by a court, and the spouse may end up being ordered to pay amounts that he or she can no longer afford.

A person who is contemplating divorce where there is substantial property or business ownership involved should talk to a financial planner before starting the legal action. This may help in subsequent valuation proceedings in connection with property division issues. A financial planner may also be able to help people determine how their financial situation will change after the divorce.

A person who is contemplating the termination of a marriage may wish to speak to a lawyer who has experience in divorce cases. The lawyer may be able to help negotiate and prepare agreements relating to property division and spousal support.

Source: Huffington Post, "The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Considering a Divorce", Debbie Martinez, October 15, 2013

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